Local News

Volunteers A Driving Force Behind U.S. Women's Open

Posted May 31, 2001

— The success of the U.S. Women's Open relies as much on the volunteers working behind the scenes as the players on the course.

The tournament begins Wednesday at Pine Needles golf course

Maggi Braun, an official starter, announces the players and lets them know when to tee off.

"It's been truly an honor to work with the whole event, and then to work as the starter and see how it all works is really exciting," she says.

The gallery control volunteers, nicknamed "ushers,"warn the crowd to be quiet when players are on the green.

"Any little noise can throw things off," says volunteer Ron Jasinski.

Practice round scorekeepers spend most of their time directing fans to where their favorite players are on the course. The job is one part timing and three parts guesswork.

"We try to figure out approximately where they're going to be at any one time," volunteer Scott O' Connell says, and then he sends the fans in that general direction.

On Wednesday, things really heat up for the volunteers on Wednesday when the Open begins and crowd control is truly critical.

Aside from a 13-year-old making the field, the most interesting story of this tournament is Brenda Corrie Kuehn, who is competing and is 8 months pregnant. Other than being a little tired, she says it really has not affected her game.

"Pregnancy to me is very normal," she says. "Women go through pregancy every day, and I've been lucky. I've had a healthy pregnancy, and I've been active throughout. I'm hoping to stay active until the day comes."

This is Kuehn's second pregnancy. She also played competitively until the seventh month of her first pregnancy.


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